Skip to content

DIY Pre-Shave Oil

Listen to this article

Sharpologist has discussed pre-shave oils in the past, surveying some of the best products and offering information like the difference between pre-shave oils and pre-shave creams. But what about making a pre-shave oil recipe to your specific needs? Here are some DIY pre-shave oils you can make.

DIY Pre-Shave Oils

I’ve done some research on pre-shave oil ingredients–the new “AI” apps like ChatGPT, Afforai, and Katteb make this much easier than it used to be–and I have been able to come up with some “targeted” recipes.

To create a homemade pre-shave oil, I take inspiration from natural ingredients known for their skin-nourishing and conditioning properties, especially essential oils. Here is a simple recipe base you can try at home:

A Basic Recipe

Caution: Remember to do a patch test before using any new skincare product to ensure you don’t have any adverse reactions.


  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is known for its moisturizing properties and can help soften the skin.
  • 1 Tablespoon Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil closely resembles the natural oils of the skin and can help balance oil production.
  • 1 Tablespoon Sweet Almond Oil: Sweet almond oil is rich in vitamins and can help soothe and hydrate the skin.
  • 5 Drops Lavender Essential Oil: Lavender oil has calming and antibacterial properties, making it great for sensitive skin.
  • 3 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil: Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that can help prevent razor burn and irritation.

Mixing Instructions

Pouring essential oil
  1. In a clean glass bottle, mix 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil, and 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil. These carrier oils will form the base of your pre-shave oil.
  2. Add 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil for a soothing fragrance and skin benefits. Add 3-5 drops of tea tree essential oil for its antimicrobial properties.
  3. Close the bottle and shake well to ensure all the oils are thoroughly mixed.
  4. Store the pre-shave oil in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight to preserve the quality of the oils.


Before shaving, wash your hands and face (or where ever you’re going to shave) with warm water to cleanse and prepare the skin.

Shake the bottle of pre-shave oil to re-mix the contents, open it, and apply a few drops of the pre-shave oil to damp skin and massage gently. Allow the oil to absorb for a minutes or so before shaving.

Shave as usual, rinsing the razor frequently in warm water.

After shaving, rinse your face with cool water. Follow up with a soothing aftershave balm or moisturizer.

Pre-Shave Oil Recipes For Specific Concerns

dry cracked face

Different essential oils can be beneficial for various skin types and conditions due to their unique properties. Here are some examples of essential oils commonly used for different skin types or conditions. Remember to properly dilute essential oils into the carrier oils.

Dry Skin

  • Lavender Oil: Known for its soothing and moisturizing properties, lavender oil can help hydrate and calm dry skin.
  • Chamomile Oil: Chamomile oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe and nourish dry, irritated skin.

Oily/Acne-Prone Skin

  • Eucalyptus Oil: Eucalyptus oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help control oil production and reduce acne breakouts.
  • Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: This oil is commonly used for acne-prone skin due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Hyperpigmented Skin

  • Lemon Oil: Lemon oil is known for its brightening properties and can help reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation on the skin.
  • Bergamot Oil: Bergamot oil has skin-brightening properties and can help even out skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation.

Sensitive Skin

  • Chamomile Oil: Chamomile oil is gentle and soothing, making it suitable for sensitive skin types.
  • Calendula Oil: Calendula oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can help calm and protect sensitive skin.

Aging/Photodamaged Skin

  • Rosehip Oil: Rosehip oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamins that can help improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Frankincense Oil: Frankincense oil has rejuvenating properties that can help promote skin regeneration and reduce the signs of aging.


When using essential oils for skincare (especially tea tree oil), it’s essential to dilute them properly with a carrier oil and perform a patch test to check for any allergic reactions. Additionally, if you have specific skin concerns or conditions it’s recommended to consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional before incorporating essential oils into your skincare routine.

Previous Recipes


Over the years Sharpologist has also listed a number of DIY pre-shave oil recipes from readers, too:

Rich’s oil:

  • 1. Castor Oil – 2 oz.
  • 2. Grape Seed Oil – 1 oz.
  • 3. Olive Oil – 1 oz.
  • 4. Avocado Oil – 1 oz.
  • 5. Apricot Oil – 1 oz.
  • 6. Vitamin E Oil – 1 oz.
  • 7. Lanolin – 1⁄2 – oz.
  • 8. Glycerin – 1⁄2 – oz.
  • 9. Almond Oil – 1 oz.
  • 10.Tea Tree Oil – 10 drops.

It makes an 8 ounce batch.

Joe’s oil,

as ratios:

  • 3/5 of castor oil,
  • 1/5 of oil from grape seeds
  • 1/5 of olive oil
  • about 10 drops of mint and lavender oils.

Mike’s oil

Equal amounts of:

  • oil from almonds
  • avocado oil
  • olive oil
  • coconut oil


  • about 20-25 drops of tea tree oil
  • a spoonful of glycerin
  • 20 drops of peppermint oil.

Donald’s oil:

  • 3 oz oil from almonds,
  • 1 oz castor oil,
  • a tsp or two of your favorite essential oils for scent as desired.
  • Maybe add a dash of glycerin for extra glide if you want.

Research Bibliography:

Bas-Bellver, C., Barrera, C., Betoret, N., & Seguí, L. (2023). Physicochemical, Technological and Functional Properties of Upcycled Vegetable Waste Ingredients as Affected by Processing and Storage. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 78, 710–719.
Chaijan, M., & Panpipat, W. (2021). Pre-neutralized crude palm oil as natural colorant and bioactive ingredient in fish sausage prepared from tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Lwt – Food Science and Technology, 135, 110289.
Głowińska, E., & Datta, J. (2016). Bio polyetherurethane composites with high content of natural ingredients: hydroxylated soybean oil based polyol, bio glycol and microcrystalline cellulose. Cellulose, 23, 581–592.
Hahn, H., Jung, H. J., Schrammek-Drusios, M. C., Lee, S. N., Kim, J., Kwon, S., An, I., An, S., & Ahn, K. (2016). Instrumental evaluation of anti-aging effects of cosmetic formulations containing palmitoyl peptides, Silybum marianum seed oil, vitamin E and other functional ingredients on aged human skin. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 12 2, 1171–1176.
Hasanov, J., Mirzaxmedov, S., Sultonova, E., & Salikhov, S. (2023). Effect of Moisture Content on the Quality and Quantity of Screw-Pressed Flax Seed Oil. Food Processing.
Kampmann, M., & Heide, B. (2014). A process for preparing a conditioning pre-shave or after-shave agent.
Kawasaki, K., Hashimoto, Y., Hori, A., Kawasaki, T., Hirayasu, H., Iwase, S., Hashizume, A., Ido, A., Miura, C., Miura, T., Nakamura, S., Seyama, T., Matsumoto, Y., Kasai, K., & Fujitani, Y. (2019). Evaluation of Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Larvae and Pre-Pupae Raised on Household Organic Waste, as Potential Ingredients for Poultry Feed. Animals, 9.
Kumoro, A. C., Wardhani, D. H., Retnowati, D. S., Haryani, K., Yustika, S., & Fajar, T. A. (2021). Extraction of Essential Oil from Ultrasound Pre-treated Citronella Grass (cymbopogon Nardus) Leaves by Hydro-distillation Method. Chemical Engineering Transactions, 87, 643–648.
Nur-Nazratul, F. M. Y., Rakib, M., Zailan, M. Z., & Yaakub, H. (2021). Enhancing in vitro ruminal digestibility of oil palm empty fruit bunch by biological pre-treatment with Ganoderma lucidum fungal culture. PLoS ONE, 16.
Pereira, J., Brohi, S. A., Malairaj, S., Zhang, W., & Zhou, G. (2020). Quality of fat-reduced frankfurter formulated with unripe banana by-products and pre-emulsified sunflower oil. International Journal of Food Properties, 23, 420–433.
Schneiders, J., Nunes, R., Savoldi, T. L., Borsatti, L., Schone, R. A., Frank, R., Bayerle, D. F., & Silva, I. (2016). Performance of broiler chickens at pre starter and starter phases using diets with different metabolizable energy values of ingredients, at different ages. Ciencia Rural, 46, 1846–1851.
Soares, C., Maiorka, A., Surek, D., Bueno, J., Valle, F. L. D. P., & Dahlke, F. (2020). Effect of Different Particle Sizes and Oil Inclusion in Pre-Starter and Starter Broilers Diets.
Utama, D., Pratama, A., Gumilar, J., Wulandari, E., Putranto, W., & Suryaningsih, L. (2023). Sodium Caseinate Improves Emulsion Stability of Meat Model System Formulated with Pre-neutralized Red Palm Olein-canola Oil Emulsion Gel. Jurnal Ilmu Dan Teknologi Hasil Ternak.
Waszkowiak, K., Mikołajczak, B., Gliszczyńska-Świgło, A., & Niedźwiedzińska, K. (2020). Effect of thermal pre‐treatment on the phenolic and protein profiles and oil oxidation dynamics of golden flaxseeds. International Journal of Food Science & Technology.

Ahmad, I., Farheen, M., Kukreti, A., Afzal, O., Akhter, M. H., Chitme, H., Visht, S., Altamimi, A. S., Alossaimi, M. A., Alsulami, E. R., Jaremko, M., & Emwas, A. (2023). Natural Oils Enhance the Topical Delivery of Ketoconazole by Nanoemulgel for Fungal Infections. ACS Omega, 8, 28233–28248.
Angelovičová, M., Angelovič, M., Zajác, P., Čapla, J., Šaraková, K., & Čurlej, J. (2021). The effect of essential oils on cholesterol content in chicken meat. Potravinarstvo Slovak Journal of Food Sciences.
El-Tablawy, S., Radwan, N., & Araby, E. (2018). Potential Activity of Some Essential Oils and Human Amniotic Membrane against Malassezia furfur and Staphylococcus aureus Isolated from Pityriasis Versicolor Patients. 31, 31–47.
Goberdhan, L., Schneider, K., Makino, E., & Mehta, R. C. (2023). Combining Diamond-Tip Dermabrasion Treatments and Topical Skincare in Participants with Dry, Hyperpigmented, Photodamaged or Acne-Prone/Oily Facial Skin: A Clinical Usage Study. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 16, 2645–2657.
Infante, V., Darvin, M. E., & Campos, P. M. B. G. M. (2023). Characterization and Efficacy of Essential Oil-Based Cosmetic Formulations for Acne-Prone Skin. Cosmetics.
Lupu, M., Malciu, A., & Voiculescu, V. (2022). Feasibility of Reflectance Confocal Microscopy Monitoring in Oily, Acne-Prone Facial Skin Treated with a Topical Combination of Alpha and Beta-Hydroxy Acids, Anti-Inflammatory Molecules, and Herculane Thermal Water: A Blinded, One-Month Study. Life, 12.
Sepp, J., Koshovyi, O., Jakštas, V., Žvikas, V., Botsula, I., Kireyev, I., Tsemenko, K., Kukhtenko, O., Kogermann, K., Heinämäki, J., & Raal, A. (2024). Phytochemical, Technological, and Pharmacological Study on the Galenic Dry Extracts Prepared from German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) Flowers. Plants, 13.
Sharma, A., Gautam, M., Godse, K., Sharma, R., Surapaneni, P., & Agrawal, M. (2023). A multicentric, prospective, observational study evaluating the use patterns of Sebium night peel for acne-prone skin and associated conditions. International Journal of Research in Dermatology.
Silva, J. S. S., Brandão, V. R., Coutinho, S. D., Paciencia, M. L. B., Frana, S., Díaz, I. E. C., & Suffredini, I. (2021). Antifungal Activity of the Essential Oils of Osteophloeum platyspermum (Myristicaceae) against Malassezia spp. and Candida albicans Influenced by Seasonality and Climatic Factors. European Journal of Medicinal Plants.
Veličkovska, S. K., Pljevljakušić, D., Arsov, E., Mitrev, S., Mihajlov, L., & Dimovska, D. (2022). Chemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial effect of Lavandula essential oil used as a natural antioxidant for cold-pressed oils. Macedonian Pharmaceutical Bulletin.
Wang, X., Gao, M., Wu, L., Zhao, Y., Wang, Y., & Chen, Y. (2022). Antimicrobial activity of essential oils extracted from Litsea cubeba. Forestry Research.
Wenhu, L. (2016). Analysis of the Essential Oils from the Leaf of Eucalyptus by Gas Chromatography- Mass Spectrometry. Journal of Ankang University.


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *